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The Welcoming Shepherd

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“We don't need to tolerate each other. We need to accept each other.” ― Abhijit Naskar

John 10.2-6
[Jesus said] The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The guard at the gate opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Whenever he has gathered all of his sheep, he goes before them and they follow him, because they know his voice They won’t follow a stranger but will run away because they don’t know the stranger’s voice.” Those who heard Jesus use this analogy didn’t understand what he was saying.

When I was a nascent human being, we lived in a little clapboard house in small-town middle America. My favorite room was an addition to the back that opened the once-tiny family room onto a decent size den. The room was all windows and sliding glass doors, the light inviting me onto the cushy, comfy, autumn gold, orangey flames of fire shag carpet tiles.

In one corner of the room, framed by two picture…

Monday Meditation

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Embrace me, holy love.
Fill my soul with wonder,
my mind with curiosity,
and my heart with compassion.

Give me the vision of Jesus,
who always invites us into his family.

Motivate me to live by his example
and be inspired, through his Spirit,
to always welcome God into my life
by recognizing God in every life. Amen.

What is Necessary? Part 6, God

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Isaiah 40:18 (CEB)
So to whom will you equate God;
to what likeness will you compare him?

Isaiah 40:25
So to whom will you compare me, 
and who is my equal? says the Holy One.

Psalm72:12–14:
Let it be so, because he delivers the needy who cry out,
    the poor, and those who have no helper.

He has compassion on the weak and the needy;
    he saves the lives of those who are in need.

He redeems their lives from oppression and violence;
    their blood is precious in his eyes.


For now, this is the last topic in our What is Necessary? series. The journey was inspired by a question someone asked me at one of our 9am Sunday morning discussions: Why is God necessary? In a post-industrial, postmodern, post-superstition (mostly), information (and disinformation) based society, why is God necessary? 

I think it’s an important question for people of faith to ask themselves and each other. When we no longer require a God that controls the weather, causes and cures disease, or chooses sides in wars (although w…